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The Love Letter

I nearly jumped up. I wanted to rush out and show my husband what I had found. It was a love letter. It wasn’t to me, it was in a book, but it was exactly the kind of love letter I wanted to receive for myself. It had all the right words and all the best compliments. 

Something told me that I should maybe hold off on that a bit. I was tempted, so tempted. If he could just SEE the kind of letter I wanted him to write to me, surely he could come through on it. 

It was in a book I had checked out from the library. I can’t even remember the name of the book. I didn’t finish reading it, because from the first chapter and the synopsis of the book I knew that somebody died of cancer and I can. not. handle. death right now. So I returned the book. Unfortunately I can’t even give you a glimpse of what the letter said. 

I’ll be honest, I patted myself on the back for the restraint that I showed in not sharing it with my husband. I had a feeling that sharing what somebody else had written would be like rubbing my husband’s face in the fact that he doesn’t write those words or express those emotions. The kind of words and emotions other people receive and I desire. 

I am not always good at keeping my thoughts to myself. I think they need to be said, at any expense, so I was pretty proud that I had squelched the desire to jump up and show him exactly what I had just read. I almost told him that too, but again, something told me I should not share that information either. 

I’m not completely heartless. 🙂

The more I thought about it, the more thankful I was that I resisted. You know when your soul stirs and God starts asking you questions and you know it from the bottom of your heart? Yes. That. He asked me “how would you feel if your husband shared something with you that makes YOU feel like a failure? What if he told you that he wanted something that you weren’t capable of giving? Wouldn’t YOU be disappointed? Wouldn’t you think ‘but I do all this other stuff, because I love him and he isn’t happy because I can’t do. this. one. thing.'”

That made sense. 

My husband does things for me because he loves me. One night when we were driving to the store I asked him “How do you show your love to me?” and the first thing out of his mouth was “SEX” and I said “Yeah, okay, other than that! <laugh>” and he gave me a whole list of things that he does for me, because he loves me. And then he said “and I know your love language is words of affirmation and I know I am not very good at that. I am not good with words. I’m not good about leaving you a note. I’m not good about writing you letters. I know you need that”.

I reached across and held his hand and said “no. I want that, but you are doing just fine. Thank you.”

Sometimes I am so focused on what I want that I fail to see what I already have. At that moment, I vowed to start noticing the ways he shows his love to me. The way he dances with me in the kitchen, or how he grabs my butt when he thinks the kids aren’t looking, or when he gets my  water for me after we have already laid down for the night, because I am SO THIRSTY and there is a kid on my arm and I don’t want to move. He loves me, he really does, and he shows it in a million different ways and I am so blessed and why do I complain about the one thing he doesn’t or can’t do, like EVER? 

I’m learning. 😉

I feel okay posting this. He might see it, but he hasn’t read the last 200 posts of mine, so I think I’m safe, but just in case…. I LOVE YOU, honey! 

Sunday Morning Confession

I don’t have the time or energy to beat around the bush, so I will start with the confession:

I haven’t been to a church service in quite a while. 

I’ve been to CHURCH. I’ve read my bible. I’ve prayed to God. I’ve heard sermons on line. I give thanks every day and I try to live more and more like Jesus with every breath that I take. I just haven’t actually stepped foot into the sanctuary and heard the sermon from my pastor, at my church.

It started when my kids were sick and we obviously couldn’t go. Then my brother passed away and I couldn’t make myself go. The day I specifically remember, I was on the verge of a breakdown and wanted to break down here, with my family, not there with my extended family. Then we were out of town. Then when I came back, I just wanted to relax, in the comfort of my home, with my husband.

Now, here we are today, and I don’t really have a perfectly good reason NOT to go (well, unless you count being up too late, praying for a friend that is in Hawaii and was evacuated due to the tsunami warning… and then the heartburn that made me so sick), but honestly I am not sure we are going to. I don’t even know why. I am not disenchanted with the church, nothing happened to make me not want to go. I love my church and I love my church family. I love that the pastor preaches from the bible, but is able to open my eyes and makes everything make sense. I also love being surrounded by people who live, love and believe the way I do.

So, if I take another day off, is it bad? Hmmm, I know some of you who will say yes, and some of you who will say no. I also know some people who will say “If you have to ask the question, you already know the answer”. And, yah, I actually wholeheartedly agree. 🙂

Some people take time off of church for sports games, work and vacation. Is it really any different if I want to take time off of church for nothing?

Now that it’s out there, I hope you will pray for me about it, rather than tell me how horribly wrong I am. And now that it’s out there, chances are I’m going to end up showing up at church. It always seems to happen. Once I blog a “confession”, such as my I hate pregnancy post, I feel better about it. I have actually felt better about my pregnancy since I hit publish.

So, perhaps, I will hit publish here, and you will see me back in church. 🙂

I’m Not Ashamed (or am I?)

It is no secret that I am a believer in God and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that Christ walked the earth and that He died for you and me. I believe that He lives today and I believe He speaks to me, through His word, His followers, and in my heart. Most people I associate with know this, even if we don’t agree or believe the same thing.

It might surprise some people to know that I was not raised in the church. My faith came after my marriage (we even requested that the minister who married us NOT pray during our wedding). (and God joined us together anyway. Yikes!) My faith has only strengthened and felt real in the past few years. We started attending the church we attend nine years ago. Even with regular attendance, I still struggled because other believers spoke about how God talked to them. I couldn’t understand why He wasn’t talking to me or how I could get Him to speak to me.

Then it happened. I started hearing his voice. I started to feel His presence. I began to feel truly led by Him. What’s more is I started to truly follow Him. I let Him lead me where He was calling me to go. He never forced me to follow or obey, I did it by my own choosing.

This is something I am not very forthcoming with. The truth. If someone says “why did you do that?” or “wow! How could you?”, I kind of, sort of skirt the real reason. I can come up with a lot of glib excuses. It hurts just to admit that.

Why though? When it is pretty much common knowledge what I believe, why would I not just say “I feel that this is what God wants me to do?”.

Um, because I don’t want to appear crazy. It’s one thing to say I believe, but to actually BELIEVE that the “invisible man in the sky” (said in a sarcastic tone, as I have heard it) talks to me or tells me what to do? Yeah, that makes me look a bit insane. The last thing I want people to think is that I have lost my marbles. Many times what God leads me to do makes sense in His kingdom, but is off the beaten path on Earth. As different as I want to be, I don’t want to be any different! I want to hold my belief close to my heart, never sharing it and never publicly professing it, because I don’t want people to think I am weird.

I typically don’t share these things with believers OR non-believers. So it’s not that I just don’t want to share with people who don’t share my beliefs and don’t understand, I don’t want to even share with people who share my beliefs and SHOULD understand. There have been times I have discovered that even believers hold a worldly view about certain things and raise an eyebrow at you if you attribute something in your life to God or your faith in Him.

I have ONE person I feel safe sharing these stories with. ONE. Really, I should be sharing these stories with everyone, whether I feel safe or not. I have learned that faith is not safe and nothing worthwhile happens as long as we remain “safe”.

I have been feeling strongly convicted in this area of my belief over the past few weeks. God has been saying to me “why aren’t you sharing MY story?”. He is holding my hand and saying “you have nothing to be ashamed of, no matter what anyone else thinks”. I hate to make promises and not follow through, but with God by my side, it’s time to start sharing these stories. Am I prepared to be called an idiot? No. Do I want people to raise their eyebrows at me and think I am crazy? Of course not. In faith, I will do it regardless of the risk or how unsafe I feel.

Stay tuned. Until then….

Luke 9:26If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

And the song that plays in my head a lot:

I’m not Ashamed – Newsboys